December 2, 2018 – John 12:1-50

Lesson Date: December 2, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: John 12:1-50

AIM: To lead students to discover some of the reasons Jesus Christ came to earth, and to decide if they are doing the things God put them on earth to do.


Before class: Read the notes on John 12:1-50 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the study guide “Why Did Jesus Come? … and … Why Are You Here?” for your anticipated attendance, as well as some pens or pencils for anyone who might need one.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask: “How many of you have ever been an employee?” (probably most have been). Ask: “What is the main reason you worked at that job?” (students will probably say they worked to receive pay to support themselves or their family, but some may say they enjoyed or received fulfillment from the job). Tell the students most people work to provide a source of income – they work to get paid.

Ask: “Now, think about your employment from your employer’s perspective. Why did your employer hire you and pay you?” (to accomplish certain tasks). Tell the students employers hire employees with a purpose in mind: to get a certain amount of work done. Employers don’t hire people just to give away paychecks; they have a reason to hire employees, they have tasks to be completed, and they have a purpose for those employees.

Write the words “Purpose” and “Tasks” on the marker board or chalkboard. Tell them today’s lesson is about some of the reasons Jesus Christ came to earth. We will also discuss reasons God put us on this earth.



  1. Review.
    • Be sure everyone present has a Sunday School Member Quarterly for the new quarter.
    • Remind them that we have been studying the Gospel of John since September.
    • In the Fall we studied chapters 1-11. This quarter we will study the rest of the Gospel.
    • Ask: “Why did John write his Gospel?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him – John 20:31).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead).
  2. Jesus was Anointed by Mary at Bethany.
    • Read John 12:1-2.
    • Tell the class that shortly after raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus returned to Bethany, and shared a meal with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (locate Bethany on the map).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 12:3.
    • Tell the students Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with a rare and costly perfume. She did this out of a sense of love, worship, devotion, and gratitude for Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life.
    • Read John 12:4-8. Briefly lecture on those verses using the following outline:
      • Judas Iscariot objected to the perfume being used to anoint Jesus. He said it should have been sold and the money given to the poor.
      • In truth, Judas wanted to steal the money from the disciples’ treasury.
      • Jesus rebuked Judas, saying it was appropriate for Mary to worship Jesus, and that she was anointing Him for His upcoming burial.
    • Give everyone present a copy of the “Why Did Jesus Come? … and … Why Are You Here?” study guide, and a pen or pencil if needed.
    • Explain that throughout this lesson we will discover several reasons Jesus came to earth and write those reasons on the study guide.
    • Tell the class the first reason is found in verse 7. Ask them to read that verse silently and look for a reason Jesus came (if He was going to be buried He must first die; they should write “To die” on their study guides).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 12:9-11.
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, why had many people come out to Bethany?” (to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead).
    • Ask: “What did the chief priest decide to do, and why?” (kill Lazarus because many people believed in Jesus after He raised Lazarus from the dead).
    • Summarize: Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus with costly ointment in preparation for His burial. Jesus came to die.
  3. The Triumphal Entry.
    • Read John 12:12-16.
    • Tell the students this is the familiar account of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
    • Tell them verses 13-15 reveal another reason Jesus came to earth: To be Israel’s Messiah.
    • Ask the students to write this on their study guides.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 12:17-19.
    • Ask: “According to these verses, why did the crowds greet Jesus as they did?” (because those who saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead told others about that amazing miracle.
    • Ask: “According to verse 19, what were the Pharisees worried about?” (that everyone would follow Jesus, instead of following them).
    • Summarize: Jesus came to Jerusalem and was hailed as the Jews’ promised Messiah.
  4. Jesus Came to Give Light and Life.
    • Read John 12:23-33, stopping at each verse listed on the study guide (verses 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, and 32).
    • After each of those verses, ask: “What does this verse say about why Jesus came to earth?”
    • Students should discover the following reasons and write them on their study guides:
      • Verse 23 – To be glorified.
      • Verse 24 – To die to bring forth much fruit.
      • Verse 25 – To give eternal life.
      • Verse 26 – So His followers will be with Him and honored by God.
      • Verse 27 – To suffer and die.
      • Verse 28 – To glorify the Father.
      • Verse 31 – To defeat the devil.
      • Verse 32 – To draw people to Himself.
    • Read John 12:33-50, stopping at each verse listed on the study guide (verses 36, 44, 45, 46, 47, and 49-50).
    • After each of those verses, ask: “What does this verse say about why Jesus came to earth?”
    • Students should discover the following reasons and write them on their study guides:
      • Verse 36 – To give believers light.
      • Verse 44 – To enable people to believe in the Father.
      • Verse 45 – To reveal the Father.
      • Verse 46 – To bring light to our dark world.
      • Verse 47 – To save the world.
      • Verses 49-50 – To speak the Father’s words.
    • Summarize: Jesus Christ had a clear purpose in coming to earth. Everything He did was to fulfill His Father’s purpose and mission.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Use the study guide to briefly review the many reasons Jesus Christ came to earth. Tell the students Jesus came to earth to fulfill His Father’s will by doing those things. His ultimate purpose on earth was to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He did not let fame or persecution divert Him from doing His Father’s will.

Ask: “Why did God put you and me on the earth?” Allow time for students to suggest a few answers, which they may write in the blank spaces on their study guides. Ask volunteers to look up the six verses listed on the study guide to discover some clearly stated reasons God put us on earth. They should name the following and write them on their study guides:

  • Acts 17:30 – To repent of our sins.
  • 1 John 3:23 – To believe in Jesus.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – To abstain from sin (sanctification).
  • Romans 12:2 – To be different from the world.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – To be thankful.
  • Colossians 3:23 – To glorify God in all that we do.

Tell the students that just as an employer brings an employee on the job to accomplish certain tasks, God has placed each of us on earth with a purpose; He expects us to do certain things. The above six things are what God expects us to do.

Ask: “How are you doing compared to that list? Are you doing the things God put you here on earth to do? If not, which areas need improvement?”

Stress the fact that no one can do the last four items on the list until they have done the first two. Ask: “Do you realize that God commands you to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus? Have you done those two things?” Urge any who have never done those things to do them now.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask the students to confess and repent of any sin in their lives, believe in Jesus if they have never done so, and commit to fulfilling God’s purpose for them by obeying His commands. Voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Remind the class that God has a purpose for us being here. Urge everyone to stay focused on God’s purpose for them this week. Ask everyone to memorize John 14:1-3.

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